The Most Unexpected Workplace Trend Coming in 2020: the Return of the Liberal Arts Major

On LinkedIn each year author Dan Schawbel writes a list of workplace trends to watch for in the coming year. This time around Schawbel makes this prediction about degrees in subjects like literature, philosophy and history:

“AI will automate technical skills and drive the demand for soft skills like creativity, communication and empathy. While there’s been such a focus on recruiting STEM over the past several years, those majors will continue to lose relevance, while liberal arts majors will become more valuable to companies moving forward.”

He goes on to cite research showing that “while liberal arts majors have lower starting salaries, their salaries rise much quicker over the course of their lives than STEM majors” (other research supports this claim) as well as a McKinsey report that concluded liberal arts skills are the least likely to be automated. A massive Google project to crunch tons of HR data to find the most important skills for success at the company surprised everyone by determining that tech skills mattered the least and soft skills the most.

All this coupled with record low unemployment and an increasingly messy political landscape for tech companies, Schawbel argues, suggests liberal arts hiring is set to shoot up in 2020. –Jessica Stillman,

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